The Town of 1770, along with its twin‐town Agnes Water, sits midway between Bundaberg and Gladstone, a magnificent stretch of coastline known as the 'Discovery Coast'. It is here that James Cook made his first Queensland landfall on a white sandy beach fringed by paperbark forest in May 1770.
The surrounding landscape, shrouded by densely vegetated coastal reserves and four national parks, includes a calm, north‐facing inlet, a peninsula known as Joseph Banks Environmental Park, and the most northern surf beach on the east coast.
Its expanding tourism industry is anchored around a quaint marina which is a thriving departure point for day trips to Lady Musgrave Island. Lady Musgrave is the second most southerly island on the Great Barrier Reef and its massive surrounding lagoon teems with tropical fish, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, whales (July‐November) and vividly colourful coral.
Large fishing charter vessels nose their way out toward to reef through the placid Bustard Bay at sunrise, while canoeists and kayakers push off to chart the bay's tranquil creeks and tributaries.
The Mergard family, tourism pioneers in the area, operate the town's first eco‐certified tourism business, offering tours aboard the ex‐military Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo (L.A.R.C) vessel. Painted lolly pink, the distinctive vessels are the perfect way to explore the scenic Bustard Bay creeks, sandbars and beaches. Each of the three LARCs carry up to 32 passengers and the signature day long “Paradise Tour” incorporates an interpretive tour to the historic Bustard Head Lightstation.
Local tourism operators also point with pride to the multi award winning coastal conservation residential project called Sunrise at 1770. The development is five kilometres south of Agnes Water on the coast adjoining the Deep Water National Park, straddling 120 hectares of regenerated land.
Sunrise at 1770 is the brainchild of Myer heirs, Dellarose and Michael Baevski. It has four kilometres of beachfront land providing residents with access to six surfing beaches. Each allotment is almost two acres and caveats dictate contemporary coastal architecture and a minimal environmental footprint. Two ocean‐side clubs form the centre of social gatherings.
There are two 25 metre pools with views over crystal clear surf beaches, a shaded pool for children, tennis courts and architecturally designed outdoor dining and barbecue facilities.
A number of homes at Sunrise are available for holiday letting, but clearly not for those on a tight budget. The holiday letting can also include a personal masseuse, in‐house chef and nanny.
Typical of the town's inclusive spirit, there is also an absolute beachfront campground with all the facilities to support the 'great Aussie family camping or caravanning holiday' on a budget. Hikers, campers and four wheel drive enthusiasts are also well catered for in the four national parks.
Getting there: The Town of 1770 is 1.5 hours drive north of Bundaberg or south from Gladstone.Qantaslink operates daily flights from Brisbane to Bundaberg. Alternatively, catch the highspeed tilt train from Brisbane to Miriam Vale, 40 minutes drive west.
Word Count: 490
Author: Jo Brenan
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